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Joker: Folie à Deux Trailer Breakdown and Analysis

The long awaited Joker: Folie à Deux Trailer has finally released and fans are extremely excited to watch the sequel of 2019’s Joker finally hit the big screen. The first Joker movie was centred around Arthur Fleck as it explored his damaged mind and the mental illnesses that he suffered from. This movie will be an Elseworlds projects from DC studios, however this will be in a separate continuity to the upcoming DCU Projects. The film came from Arthur’s perspective

Folie à Deux Trailer Breakdown and Analysis Thumbnail

The long awaited Joker: Folie à Deux Trailer has finally released and fans are extremely excited to watch the sequel of 2019’s Joker finally hit the big screen. The first Joker movie was centred around Arthur Fleck as it explored his damaged mind and the mental illnesses that he suffered from. This movie will be an Elseworlds projects from DC studios, however this will be in a separate continuity to the upcoming DCU Projects.

The film came from Arthur’s perspective and his own mind, resulting in a fractured timeline of events within the movie as an untrustworthy source of information through Arthur. The Folie à Deux Trailer gave us our first glimpse at the sequel, once again the film seems to be coming from the perspective of Arthur however rather than in a depressive state like the first movie, this time Arthur is in love.

Love at First Sight in the Folie à Deux Trailer

Harley Quinn pointing fingers to her head
Image via Warner Bros

The Folie à Deux Trailer begins with Arthur in a cell, now in Arkham Asylum after the events of the first movie, shaking on his feet whilst two guards come by to take him out of his cell. The guards tell the inhabitants of Arkham that “it’s showtime” and asking Fleck to “tell a joke”. This is a nod to the theme of the movie which will be based around music and musicals more specifically. The Folie à Deux Trailer does show many theatrical and stage like moments and this initial comment by the guard begins this.

The next shot of the Folie à Deux Trailer we see is of Fleck walking down a hallway with the two guards, clearly this is the next scene after Fleck is taken out of his cell, and as he walks past a room with other inhabitants singing he notices Lady Gaga’s character, Harley Quinn. Harley and Arthur lock eyes and they can’t take their eyes off of each other, it’s a classic love at first sight moment but with an eerie taste to it.

The title Folie à Deux translates to “folly of two”, meaning when two people, by close association, have a shared delusion or mental illness. In the Folie à Deux Trailer, it is clear that this is referencing Arthur and Harley but this brings up further complications to the audience. The first Joker movie showed us that Arthur cannot be a trusted perspective, now with Harley in the mix in the sequel, she cannot be a trusted perspective either.

As Arthur is pushed further away from Harley’s gaze, he is then pushed into a nearby doorway, out of sight. The next shot is of Arthur in a dark room lighting his cigarette as we hear a man state that “we use music to make us whole to balance the fractures within ourselves”. During this, we see Arthur taken outside into the rain, seemingly after he had just seen Harley for the first time as we see the same guards at his side. Arthur looks up at the sky as we are shown a birds eye view of Arthur and the guards holding umbrellas.

But somehow the umbrellas are now colourful, rather than black as they were in the previous shot. However, the Folie à Deux Trailer may also just be showing us how Arthur’s life now has life and colour.

This scene could be one of the first musical numbers of the film, with Arthur singing after finding the love of his life. We cut to Harley, climbing the same steps Arthur climbed in the first movie. These steps are incredibly important in the first Joker movie and the Folie à Deux Trailer showing us the same steps is great to see as it represents the inner emotional state of the characters. Fleck climbed the steps in the first movie, showing his struggles, then danced down them at the end of the movie, showing his decent into madness.

If the Folie à Deux Trailer is showing us Harley climbing the same steps, then they may both dance down them together, matching the title of Folie à Deux. As Harley climbs the steps she states that “I’m a nobody as we cut to a shot of Harley in a room, seeming Arkham, putting her fingers to her head like a gun and shooting herself like Arthur did during the first movie.

Harley then continues as she says “I haven’t done anything in my life like you have”. This portrays Harley in the same position as Arthur was in the first movie, so Harley could be having the same path as Arthur.

My own personal theory is that Harley will follow Arthur and look up to him throughout the movie, only for her mental state to make her behaviour even more sadistic than Arthur’s and the movie will end similarly to the first, only with Harley killing Arthur.

Lights, Camera, Action

Harley and Joker dancing down the Courthouse steps
Image via Warner Bros

The next shot we see is a spotlight, shining down on Arthur in all of his Joker makeup as he prepares to sing a song on stage. Yet another example that the Folie à Deux Trailer is showing us of the musical elements of the movie. However, I do believe that this is another scene inside of Arthur’s head as we see Arthur also in the audience sitting next to Harley Quinn.

This could be a scene where the Arkham inhabitants are watching a movie, or a stage performance and Arthur, now in a love filled state of mind, imagines himself on stage. The Folie à Deux Trailer shows many scenes like this with many stage like performances.`

Harley asks Arthur “let’s get out of here”. We then see Joker on seemingly a different stage which we will get a better view of later in the trailer. He approaches Harley, in a beautiful white dress. This could be from Joker’s perspective but may also be from Harley’s.

The plot of the movie could be Harley telling her children about how she met the Joker or maybe she is telling the tragedy of the Joker, more on that theory later. The music throughout the trailer is ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love’ by Jackie DeShannon in 1965 and as Harley and Joker come together to dance the lyrics begin.

As the two dance, the Folie à Deux Trailer cuts to the two, dancing in the street in the rain, rather than on a stage. This is another example on how their perspectives cannot be trusted and they have both begun to live their twisted fantasy. The next shot we see is of Arthur running down the street being followed by two men, one in the Joker suit, the other dressed as one of his followers from the first movie.

Now many have theorised that these two men are actually Arthur in his own mind, as though he is being chased by his past and the consequences of his action. He could be concerned that his life with Harley cannot begin because of what he has done. The Folie à Deux Trailer doesn’t really give much explanation to this.

This could be true, these could be Joker followers who want Arthur’s attention or don’t actually know that Arthur is the Joker. However I believe that what this scene in the Folie à Deux Trailer could be is another musical number where Arthur is being chased by personifications of his past and he is singing a song whilst running or at least there may be a soundtrack and song playing over the chase.

The Joker and Harley Show

Joker smiling at Harley Quinn
Image via Warner Bros

The next shot of the Folie à Deux Trailer seems to be a familiar setting from the first Joker movie that many fans will remember as a pivotal moment in Arthur’s life. The Murray Franklin show was a television show that Fleck loved to watch and he was eventually invited onto the show but killed the host on live television after revealing he was the one who committed the murders of the movie. It seems that the Folie à Deux Trailer is showing us this same setting but now with the names of ‘Joker and Harley’ in lights.

This could be again, a false fantasy created by the two protagonists, or this could be real. It could be that Harley and Joker get out of Arkham and start their own television show in the place of Murray Franklin and this could be where more musical numbers take place. We even see Joker and Harley all dressed up and dancing on stage with bands playing in the background.

We then cut to Arthur being dragged down a hallway at Arkham by the guards whilst laughing. What is interesting about Arthur’s laughing is that he doesn’t necessarily laugh when he is happy so it is hard to consider his feelings at this point. We then see a shot of Harley climbing what seems to be courthouse steps, although now she is in her full costume and surrounded by many people.

Many of these people are wearing Joker masks and are holding placards to free the Joker. Clearly the people of Gotham believe that Joker is something good for the city and he may actually get away with the crime he committed in the first movie, with Harley at his side.

We see a good look at Harley’s costume close up as we see a scene with Harley putting Arthur’s makeup on. We cut to Arthur sitting across from Steve Coogan’s character as he is asked “tell us what’s changed” as Arthur replies “I’m not alone anymore”. The next shot that the Folie à Deux Trailer shows us is both Harley and Joker dancing down the courthouse steps, clearly another possible musical number.

We then see police vehicles, possibly showing Arthur being carried to the court, as we then are shown Arthur in the police vehicle waving at all the people cheering for him. The Folie à Deux Trailer continues to show us that Joker has been raised on a pedestal in Gotham and the public love him as a martyr.

More possible musical numbers are shown on seen as we see Joker in a white suit which then cuts to another stage performance with Joker at the back of the stage as Harley dances down on a winding path towards him. This could portray a wedding scene for the two characters but whether it is real or not is another story. We see some quick shots of Joker and Harley kissing through the cell bars, then quickly to a kiss on a stage again, before seeing Arthur in a bar hitting a patron with a stool.

The next scene shows the full stage I mentioned earlier, with Joker and Harley dancing with a huge sign in the background reading ‘Hotel Arkham’. This could be one of the first musical numbers that the two of them have together at Arkham as they dance on a rooftop like stage, to add a romance fantasy to their grim reality.

The next shot of the Folie à Deux Trailer we see is a shot of Harley trying to rob a store with Arthur on the screen, possibly how she came across Arthur and began her obsession with him. We then see the two running down a hallway at Arkham with a fire growing behind them. It is likely that they could have escaped but this may be another example of a false fantasy that they have both created.

We then see Harley, drawing the lines over her eyes as we saw previously in the Folie à Deux Trailer, in a homage to when we saw Arthur do the same in the first Joker movie. The parallels between Arthur and Harley are extremely apparent and makes me believe that the two films will mirror each other in terms of the path that both Joker and Harley take.

Among these quick shots includes Arthur, laughing in the rain at Arkham, but remember, this does not mean he is happy. This could be just after he has seen Harley Quinn for the first time, so he may be feeling love more than anything. The next quick shot we see is a huge explosion, obviously caused by one of the protagonists before we see Harley point a gun on Joker on what seems to be their stage show.

Now the gun pointing could just be a nod to the Murray Franklin show or part of an act but I do believe that the movie could end with Harley shooting Joker on stage, similarly to how Arthur shot Murray in Joker 2019. The last few quick shots show Harley and Joker separately dancing on stage before we see Arthur staring at Harley through a glass screen. The last scene shows Harley drawing a red smile on the glass with lipstick and asking to “see the real” Arthur.

Arthur lines his face up with the red lipstick and smiles, lining up his mouth with the red lipstick. A genius shot if you ask me. Then we get the title card to finish the amazing Folie à Deux Trailer. So the question is, what is this movie about? Truth is, no one knows but that may be the beauty of it.

The first movie explored the corruption of Gotham and Joker became the result of that corruption fighting back against the city but this film seems to be even more ambiguous. Not only this but the connection Bruce Wayne had to the first movie seems to be non-existent in the sequel so we may never know if he grows to become the famous Batman.

Not only this but the Folie à Deux Trailer cannot be trusted as too much of what is shown may or may not be in the heads of Harley and Arthur. One can only guess what will happen in the movie I’m afraid but what is certain is that this movie does look incredible after the Folie à Deux Trailer and will surely confuse fans. I am looking forward to the many debates during the hype season of this movie.

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